As Digital Trends get disruptive by the day, there is every chance at it that onventional work modes will exit the human space soon. We walked the talk with Kehinde Odeyemi, CEO of The Echo Digital. This is what he has to say on the importance of Digital Marketing and how to read the trending signs of our age.

If you engage in Digital Businesses as a Cover for Fraud, Your sins will find you Out - Kehinde Odeyemi, CEO The Echo Digital

NNI: Can we meet you?
Guest: I am Emmanuel Kehinde Odeyemi, I have a B.Sc in Electronics & Electrical Engineering (Communications). I am a professional Digital Marketer and the founder of The Echo Digital, T.E.D, an online marketing firm, founded in August 2017. Also, I'm a humanitarian at The Echo Care Foundation Africa, founded by me in June 2018

NNI: How has the  entrepreneurship/business journey been for you so far?
GUEST: My entrepreneur journey hasn't been smooth and neither has it been rough all through. There have been big wins, small wins, big losses and small losses. But importantly, lessons have been learnt.

NNI: Like Summy Smart Francis, Bill Gates, Strive Masiyiwa and other world's business models, what and who drives your entrepreneurship/business spirit?
GUEST: My entrepreneurial spirit is actually based on the fact that I have passion to help people. Through T.E.D, we have been able to solve over 650 marketing problems within 32 months and hired people so they can earn. At the moment, our staff count is about 30.

Also, a desire to be independent and creating a better life for myself and my unborn kids is a motivation. I am commited to making lives better.

NNI: In hosting innovative brand programmes like the TED Trade Fairs, Live in Concert and the TEDInvasion, what is your experience?
I own all the stocks at T.E.D,. This means if it goes sour, I lose the most and if goes so well I enjoy the most. One of the major characteristics of an entrepreneur is the ability to take risks, risk is something that I have learnt to calculate. The purpose of these events are: brand awareness, education and empowerment. However, the major challenge about hosting these events is having willing hands that can make it a success. Willing hands will always generate revenues.

NNI: What do you do at the TED Academy?
The T.E.D Academy is a Division of the T.E.D Organisation in charge of training people in digital skills such as SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Page Management & Development, Sponsored Ads, e.t.c. All done virtually! The participants are issued a certificate afterwards.

NNI: How did you come about digital Skills? 
Guest: Most of my digital skills are self taught.

NNI: What do you think of many youths who claim to engage in digital businesses as a cover for fraud?
Their sins will find them out if they don't stop that nonsense

NNI: On the price rates and excessive use of internet browsing data  (positively or negatively) for SMEs and Companies, how does it affect your productivity?
I use tonnes of data, that I can honestly account for. In the past 4 months, I have used over 200GB. To a certain extent, data in Nigeria isn't cheap if you compare it to other world countries but at the rate of data being sold, people in Nigeria can still make a life from it by going digital. You just have to understand that if you spend much on data usage, it better be fetching you money in return.

NNI: As a company, Can impact truly be measured? Considering your CSRs, what defines social impact for you at the Echo Digital?
GUEST: Of course impact can be measured. Most people into business are not entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are business people but not all business people are entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship has to do with innovative solution to problems and trying to make lives better irrespective of their field. It is about risk taking, especially at the initial or incubation stage of your start-up. If you can't even afford to take a little risk for your brand, you can't use that word. Entrepreneurs think about people, business people think about themselves!

When it comes to CSR, we are making impact. For instance, The T.E.D Invasion Conference allows you to pick a ticket for a token and you get trained for free in digital marketing. The whole value embedded in the ticket is almost 18,000 naira and participants are asked to pay only 3,000 naira or 1,500 for it.

T.E.D also supports foundations, most importantly, TECF Africa and we have been able to hire many undergraduates to help them build work experience with us and get paid. So yes, results can be measured as we have been able to solve over 650 marketing problems with over 82% success rate.

NNI: What is your view on Global Youth Development and growth? Do you think we are making progress?
As a matter of fact, the major targets for our online courses are undergraduate youths and one of the major benefits of the T.E.D Invasion is skill and knowledge empowerment for undergraduates. If young minds can harness the power of the digital age, they would live more fulfilled in various businesses. And yes, we are making progress. We are doing that fast too!

NNI: What exceptional skill do you think every entrepreneur and business owner should have? Why?
Simple page management & development skill that helps you to effectively portray your brand properly on social media and it also helps you to grow your audience a step at a time. Quality is better, but in business, quantity should never, I repeat never be over-looked. Some people will automatically not patronise you because of your low followers count. This means so much too.

Also, Content Creation skill (SEO Writing & Branding is important too) and Email Marketing.

NNI: You also lead volunteers at The Echo Care Foundation. What is your Volunteer Experience?
At TECF Africa, it's been awesome. A lot of people are volunteers but not VOLUNTEERS, if you know what I mean. Throughout my undergraduate days, I served people without expecting anything in return and today God is making people return the favour. Even before getting into the University, I've been involved in volunteering.

The only thing I have to say is that to volunteer isn't compulsory, nobody will beat you if you don't. But if you do out of your own volition, let your integrity show in your response to your responsibility. Integrity and Faithfulness is key in volunteering.

NNI:  Do you think funding levels for NGOs have reduced? Why?
No it hasn't according to my knowledge, there are hundreds of organisations funding  and willing to fund NGOs as long as they can see a track record of successes and impact. Get registered, be transparent too!

NNI: What is your advice to fellow young individuals?
Develop yourself at any opportunity. There is no time. What you don't pay 1,000 naira for today, you won't pay 1,000,000 naira for tomorrow even if you have it because having money won't chase out stinginess to oneself. Also if you don't pay a 1,000 naira today, you will be forced to pay 1,000,000 tomorrow.

Make your personal growth a priority. Having phones and gadgets are not important as what we can do with them. If you can't earn a living from them, you shouldn't invest so much in them in the first instance.

Grow and develop your mind and skills!

NNI: What new heights are you scaling at TED and TECF? What should we expect in the near future?
GUEST: The goal is to have T.E.D Invasion quarterly every year, every April in Obafemi Awolowo University though and across states or Universities at the beginning of every other quarter in the year.

We will be going public where 60 young individuals can own stocks or shares at T.E.D under our Academy, Events and Marketing Companies. They talk about investments and many young people still don't get it because they don't know how and why. Investment is the future.

We are going into awards by the end of the year where those that have done exceptionally well as individuals or organisations can be recognised. It won't be a regular event, these events started incubating in 2018. More details later.

NNI: Thank you very much for your time sir.
GUEST: Thank you very much for the honour.